Higher Education Committee of 50 Releases Policy Recommendations to Congress

March 22, 2019

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Title: Innovative, Forward-Thinking Recommendations to Congress on Higher Education Policy

Source: The Higher Education Committee of 50

The Higher Education Committee of 50 recently released 36 comprehensive policy recommendations on college access, affordability, accountability, and transparency. The Committee, comprised of college presidents, enrollment managers, admissions staff, financial aid and bursar leaders, members of governing boards, students, and other leaders from all postsecondary institution sectors representing over 140 institutions, was convened by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators in 2017. Some of the recommendations put forth by the group includes:

  • Require the U.S. Department of Education to develop and add a dynamic, user-tested truth-in-lending calculator and annual debt letter to entrance counseling and the federal web portal for borrowers (StudentLoans.gov).
  • Eliminate higher education tax credits and put those funds into the Federal Pell Grant program.
  • Return the 90/10 rule ratio to 85/15. Also, include U.S. Department of Defense military tuition assistance benefits and Veterans Affairs benefits as part of the calculation of federal revenue (i.e. the 85%, from which these benefits are currently excluded).
  • Establish one standard 10-year repayment plan, one extended repayment plan, and one income-based repayment (IBR) plan. The IBR plan would allow borrowers to pay a monthly amount based on their income and family size. The total amount to be repaid under IBR would be capped at the total of the principal and interest the borrower would have paid under a standard 10-year plan, as calculated when they entered repayment. Under IBR, interest would continue to accrue over the life of the loan, and amounts above the standard 10-year repayment cap would be forgiven and exempt from taxation.
  • Require the U.S. Department of Education to administer an optional continuous-improvement survey at the end of the FAFSA to determine which elements of the online application help students and families understand and interpret information accurately and with ease.

To read the full list of recommendations, please visit the Higher Education Committee of 50 website.

—Georgiana Mihut

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